Citing Books & Treaties

Model (Rule 15)

Volume, Author(s), Title Pinpoint Cite (editor edition year).


Roy M. Mersky & Donald J. Dunn, Fundamentals of Legal Research 120 (8th ed. 2002).


Court Documents: Underline the book title.

Law Reviews: Use large and small capitals for the book title.


Volume - Rule 15.3

In large multi-volume treatises, you will often have to indicate which volume you are using. Insert the volume number at the start of the cite or a section after the title.

              6 Austin W. Scott, The Law of Trusts (4th ed. 1990).

              Austin W. Scott, The Law of Trusts § 6.2 (4th ed. 1990).


Author – Rule 15.1

(1) Cite the author’s full name as given in the publication, which includes any middle initials or other designations like Jr. or III. [rule 15.1], but not “Dr.” or “Prof.” For two authors, use an ampersand with both full names [rule 15.1(a)]. If there are more than two authors you can either cite them all or cite the first followed by et al. [rule 15.1(b)].

  Lynn M. LoPucki et al., Commercial Transactions: A Systems Approach (2d ed. 2003).

(2) Insert any editor(s) or translator(s) into the parenthetical [rule 15.2] followed by either ed. or trans. - follow the usual rules for one, two or more authors.

  Karl Marx & Frederich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (Joseph Katz ed., Samuel Moore trans., Washington Square Press 1964) (1848).


Title - Rule 15.3 & Rule 8(a)

Indicate the full title as it appears on the title page. Do not abbreviate or omit words in the title (unlike party names in a case citation). Capitalize words in the title according to Rule 8(a). This rule, in essence, requires the capitalization of all words in a title, including any that begin a title, or immediately follow a colon. But, do not capitalize articles, conjunctions and prepositions when they are four or less letters unless, as above, they begin the title or immediately follow a colon.

 The Lockerbie "Extradition by Analogy" Agreement: "Exceptional Measure" or Template for Transnational Criminal Justice?


Edition – Rule 15.4

(1) Cite the edition that you are citing/relying upon, usually the latest. Do not indicate a first edition, only subsequent editions. Note that it is 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, etc. Always make sure not to superscript.

(2) If there are multiple editions by different publishers, then insert the publisher along with the edition and year.


Year – Rule 15.4

Indicate the year of publication.


Commonly Used Massachusetts Secondary Sources - Rule 15.3

(1) Massachusetts Practice (a multi-set treatise on Massachusetts law)

Insert, (1) the volume number, (2) the author(s) of the specific volume, (3) title of the specific volume, (4) pinpoint cite if applicable, and (5) edition/year (and supplement if necessary). Do not insert Massachusetts Practice as the title.

               26 Herbert Lemelman, Uniform Commercial Code Forms Annotated (2005).

               2 Charles Kindregan et al., Family Law and Practice: With Forms (2002).

(2) Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) (another treatise set)

This follows the same template as Massachusetts Practice.

Dana Casher, Collecting Civil Judgments (5th ed. 2013).

John O. Mirick, Discovery and Trial Preparation, in Chapter 93A Rights and Remedies (Hon. Margot Botsford ed., 2005).


Special Book Citation Forms – Rule 15.8

Some frequently nationally cited works have their own special citation form.

Common examples include:

          Black’s Law Dictionary 45 (7th ed. 1999).

          3 C.J.S. Animals § 10 (2002).

          10 Am. Jur. 2d Contracts § 23 (2001).